Clearing or Sealing Your Record in Texas
Texas law in Tarrant, Dallas, & Collin Counties, does allow for individuals with certain types of criminal records to legally state that they were never charged/convicted for crimes that were previously on their record. Attorney G. Dewayne Huston has experience handling the following types of record clearing:
- Expungements: Expunction is generally defined as a type of lawsuit filed by an individual who has a criminal record and desires that certain portions or the entirety of that record become sealed or destroyed. If your expungement petition is successful, you can legally state that you were never arrested for or convicted of the crime(s) that were previously on your record that have been expunged.
- Motions for non-disclosure: If you were convicted of a crime and you successfully completed a deferred adjudication (plea bargain agreement in which punishment is deferred awaiting the outcome of a probationary time period – if the individual successfully completes this agreement, charges are then dismissed), you can petition the courts to sign an order of non-disclosure. If your petition is successful, deferred adjudication case results and details could be blocked from public access.
Eligibility for Expunction or Non-Disclosure
Not everyone is eligible for expunction or non-disclosure; only when certain conditions are met can someone endeavor to attain one of the two. For instance, according to Texas law, anyone who has a final conviction on record can apply for neither expunction nor non-disclosure. If the offender completes straight probation or if the courts grant penalties such as time served in prison or jail, that individual is denied the ability to erase or seal their record. DWI convictions are also ineligible for this.
If you have a final conviction on your record or are in any other way ineligible of petitioning for expunction or non-disclosure, you have two options. First, you can attempt to gain a pardon from the governor or president, but these are rare and extremely difficult to obtain. Otherwise, you can file a writ for Habaes Corpus.
Mr. Huston is very experienced in the necessary steps for clearing your record. Only certain types of offenses can be expunged or subject to non-disclosure orders. If you have questions about whether your criminal record can be cleared, we can answer your questions and get you started on the process if you are eligible.
Changes to Texas Non-Disclosure Laws (2017) Concerning First-Time DWI Offenses
As of September 1, 2017, Texas HB 3017 went into effect, allowing Texas residents to petition to have their first DWI conviction sealed under an order of non-disclosure. This is the first time that a DWI offense will be eligible to be sealed in the state of Texas. While this is not as strong of a legal remedy for cleaning your criminal records in the state of Texas, it is nevertheless an option that anyone who is eligible should consider.
A successful petition under HB 3017 will result in a first-time DWI conviction being sealed form normal criminal background checks used by employers, land lords, etc. However, it will not seal them from police officers or any employer hiring for a government position.
The requirements for eligibility to petition for such a first-time DWI to be sealed in the state of Texas are quite stringent, including the following:
- You can have no other criminal record or have been found guilty of any other crimes. The only such exception to this rule would be minor traffic violations that had nothing to do with drugs or alcohol.
- In the event you receive a following DWI conviction after your DWI has been sealed, your order of non-disclosure will be revoked and both will then become part of your permanent criminal record.
- The DWI offense you committed cannot have resulted in any kind of accident involving another individual.
- Additionally, your BAC cannot have been any higher than 0.15.
- Any and all conditions, periods of confinement, and costs/fines ordered by the court in relation to the DWI offense must have been satisfied.
- The required waiting period must have been served.
The normal waiting period is 5 years from the last date of court-ordered confinements and conditions. There is also a shorter waiting period that some Texas residents may qualify for depending on the length and type of court-ordered conditions related to their DWI:
- All conditions and requirements of sentencing related to the DWI must have been served for a period of at least six months.
- Such conditions and requirements must include the installation of a ignition-restriction device for a period of no less than six months.
If these conditions are satisfied, a petitioner need only wait two years from the anniversary of the date they completed their court-ordered sentencing and conditions.
CLEAR YOUR RECORD WITH OUR HELP:
With a felony or misdemeanor on your record available for future employers, landlords or educational institutions to access at any time, you could be facing certain hardships. Employers will often refuse to hire convicted felons. The same could hold true for certain places of residence and educational facilities. You don’t have to be subject to different treatment. Let Mr. Huston and his legal team review the facts of your case to see if you are eligible.